Things We Said Today

Paul McCartney was honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the White House yesterday. He is only the third person to receive it, and he certainly deserves it. (The first was Stevie Wonder, and the second was Paul Simon, who by the way performed at our son’s commencement exercises two weekends ago.)

But reading about the ceremony in the Times today, I was dismayed to see the following from Sir Paul:

A few minutes after the concert, Mr. McCartney returned to the microphone, thanking the Library of Congress and adding, “After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.”

It is one thing to express, as Mr. McCartney did at other moments during the evening, fawning and fulsome praise for President Obama. But for an Englishman, while accepting an award of national honor from the American people, to stand in the White House and gratuitously insult a former President (and one, for that matter, whose wife holds a master’s degree in library science) is appallingly bad form. Very, very bad form indeed.

Mr. McCartney should be ashamed of himself, and he owes Mr. Bush, and the rest of us, an apology.

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